Playing catch up in the handset market, Lenovo just introduced its first LTE smartphone. Dubbed the Vibe Z, the company is billing it as a “razor-thin, blazing-fast” device complete with gesture controls, photo enhancement software and other premium technologies.
Alongside the Vibe Z, Lenovo also rolled out three smartphones: the S930, a supersize six-inch device aimed at media addicts; the S650, a 4.7-inch workhorse; and the so-called “tweener” A859, a five-inch high performance all-rounder.
We caught up with Avi Greengart, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, to get his take on Lenovo’s new devices. He told us one of the reasons Lenovo was so late in launching an LTE phone is because it was primarily aiming at the Chinese market.
“For its core market, where Lenovo has been most successful selling smartphones, LTE has not been needed. But there’s no question that with PC sales stagnating and more competition in China from Samsung and Apple, Lenovo is looking to broaden outside of China in its smartphone sales. They have been very public about this,” Greengart said.
“This is a bit of a change for Lenovo because they had long said they would only enter markets outside of China where their PC brand was number one. They appear to be backtracking from that a bit and instead moving toward a faster rollout outside of China simply because relying on PCs to lead the way is not going to be an effective strategy with PC sales declining,” he added.
A Closer Look at Vibe Z
The Vibe Z promises data uploads at up to 50 Mbit/s1 and downloading at up to 150 Mbit/s1. The device operates on GSM/UMTS networks up to 2100 and also comes with 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0. The smartphone offers a 7.9mm silver or titanium body weighing just 147 grams.
On the inside, the Vibe Z carries the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Quad-core 2.2GHz processor. It also has 2 GB of memory, up to 16 GB of internal storage and runs Android 4.3. The smartphone has a 13 MP rear camera with an f1.8 aperture lens for low light situations and a 5 MP front camera that’s equipped with an 84° lens for wide-angle shots.
The Vibe Z starts at $549 and is available starting in February in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the Philippines.
The New Lineup
The S930 aims at media mavens with its high definition and audio enhanced movie and gaming experience while the S650 offers a pocket-sized media device. Both smartphones adopt the Vibe Z’s silver body and fabric-feel rear cover. The S930 supersizes the available screen real estate with its 6-inch high definition 1280x720 touchscreen while the S650 sports a compact 4.7-inch gHD 960x540 display with IPS wide angle viewing.
Powered by a MediaTek Quad Core processor and running Android 4.2 at 8.7mm thin, both the S930 and S650 smartphones offer a dual SIM card allowing for two numbers in one device. Both devices come with an 8 MP rear camera with flash, a capable front camera, Lenovo’s Super Camera and Super Gallery apps to and 8 GB of storage. Both smartphones include gesture-based controls and the latest Lenovo launcher customizations.
Finally, the A859 smartphone combines several in-demand features, including a 5-inch high definition (1280x720) IPS screen with 178-degree wide angle viewing. Like the S Series, it has a dual SIM card, runs on a MediaTek 6582 processor and Android 4.2, has an 8 MP rear camera, a front camera and 8 GB of storage.
The S930 and S650 start at $319 and $229, respectively. They are available now in countries where Lenovo smartphones are sold. The A859 starts at $219 and is also available where Lenovo devices are sold.